Last month we welcomed one of our valued camp partners, Nomad Tanzania, to our office in Healdsburg, California. We were very fortunate that they brought along one of their top chimpanzee trekking guides from the Greystoke Mahale camp, Mwiga Mambo.
Mwiga has spent much of his life in the forests of Mahale and is the camp's resident chimpanzee expert. So his visit to our office was the next best thing to going chimpanzee trekking ourselves, as he brought a lifetime of keen chimp observation, a genuine love for these animals, and a great sense of humor. A fascination with chimpanzees runs in his family. His uncle, Kasakampe, worked for the original Japanese research team from Kyoto University back in the 1960's when they first started studying the behavior of the M group of chimps. Mwiga began working at Greystoke Mahale in 1996. He has spent the last five years in the forests of Mahale and there is little he doesn't know about its primate residents. When he was promoted in early 2011 to Greystoke Guide, Mwiga became the first guide whose ancestry is from the very same area.
During his presentation in our office we asked him to share some of favorite stories of his beloved chimps, and using his storytelling skills and uncannily real chimpanzee vocalizations, he brought the animals to life in our conference room.
Guides like Mwiga are the reason our travelers come home from Africa inspired not only by the wildlife, but with strong connections to the people who masterfully interpret it for them.
We hope you enjoy the story of Alofu, "the romantic chimp" as much as we did!